Province: Vasterbottens Ian.
Altitude: 20 m (66 ft). Population: 50,000. Postal code: S-90 … Telephone code: 0 90. Tn Umea Turistbyra,
S-90247 UmeS: tel. 12 28 23.
HOTELS. BH Avenue, RSdhusesplanaden 14, 141 BH Dragonen, Norrlandsgatan 5, 116 Strand-hotel, Vastra Strandgatan 11, 64 Stora Hotellet Storgatan 46,110 Wasa, Vasagatan 12, 88 Esso Motor Hotel, Yrkesvagen, 251 PHen, Pilgatan 5, 17 b.
Umea, main town of the Swedish province of Vasterbotten, lies on the left bank of the Umealv, about 5 km (3 miles) above its outflow into the Gulf of Bothnia. It is a port, an industrial and commercial town and the cultural hub of northern Norr-land. It has a variety of industries, principally woodworking. It is the seat of the Provincial Appeal Court and has a university (founded 1963), various schools and other educational institutions, and a library.
UmeS was granted a municipal charter for the second time in 1622, but its development really began only with the rise of the woodworking industry in the second half of the 19th c. In 1888, a great fire destroyed three-quarters of the town’s houses and its three shipyards for wooden vessels, it was then rebuilt with broad streets lined with avenues of birch-trees. The town is particularly attractive when its 5500 trees burst into leaf (about 20 May).
SIGHTS. Inthemiddle ofthe town is the Radhustorg (Town Hall Square), with a large bust of Gustavus Adolphus, founder of UrneS. To the S, in Storgata, is the neo-Gothic brick church (1892); outside stands an obelisk marking the common grave of a Swedish colonel, J. Z. Duncker, and a Cossack colonel, Aerekoff, who died in the fighting at Hornefors in 1809. In Dobeln Park, adjoining the church, is a monument commemorating the Swedish general, G. C. von Dobelm, commander of the last united Swedish-Finnish army; his ashes were scattered here after the war with Russia (1808-9). After the end of the war, in 1809, Finland became an autonomous Duchy of Russia. On a hill NE of the town is the Gammlia Open-Air Museum, with the Vasterbotten Provincial Museum. Among the buildings here is an 1 8th c. house, Savargarden, headquarters of the Russian general, Kamensky, during the Swedish-Russian war. The Helena Elisabeth Church, originally a fishermen’s chapel on the island of Holmo, is in part built of wood from wrecked ships. Lars Fagrares Gard, now a skiing museum and youth hostel, is a typical old craftsman’s house. SE of the town are the buildings of the University.
SURROUNDINGS. 17 km (10 miles) SE ofthe town lies its outer harbour, Holmsund (large sawmills), from which there is a ferry senice to Vaasa in Finland. Holmsund lies on the Blue Highway, which cuts across E4 and E79 to the W of UmeS and traverses the magnificent scenery of southern Lapland into Norway. The first part of its course follows the Umealv (numerous rapids). 15 km (9 miles) NW of UmeS, at Sorfors, is the large underground power station of Stornorrfors (1959), with a fall of 75 m (250 ft) and a turbine hall 24 m (80 ft) high cut from rock (open to visitors June to August). Here, too, is a large salmon hatchery which releases 100,000 young salmon annually into the UmeSalv. The salmon can be seen leaping up the small waterfall below the large dam.
120 km (75 miles) S of UmeS, on a skerry-fringed inlet, is Ornskoldsvik (Stadshotellet, 86 Focus, 108 Esso Motor Hotel, 152 b.). The town is named after Per Abraham Ornskold, governor of Vaster-norrland from 1762 to 1769, who promoted the development of this area. The rise of Ornskoldsvik is primarily due to its sawmills and the development of its shipping trade, aided by a natural deep-water harbour which is ice-free for eleven months of the year and makes regular service to Vaasa possible ( 281). With its population of 16,000, Ornskoldsvik is one of the most rapidly expanding towns in Swedish Norrland. It is in a very attractive setting, bounded on the landward side by wooded hills which extend inland, offering good fishing in their streams and good skiing in winter. From the Varvsberg (restaurant; motor road) there is a fine view of the sea. In the town itself, there is the Town Hall (1909), and in the Torgpark, the figure of an eagle cut into the local granite (Bruno Liljefors); this has become the emblem of the town. To the E of the town is Fornhemmet (open-air museum).